We set off early in the morning after a late night of packing and a little nap before adventuring off to the great wild Meager Creek. The crazy creatures of Meager creek greeted us on our way- including some deer, a black bear, two crows fighting each other, and a LYNX (whose identity has been confirmed by a thorough google search)!
With much big-cat inspired excitement the first two car groups headed up the logging road better suited to foot travel than our not so sturdy cars. Up and up and up we hiked… who needs 4-wheel drive anyway? At the trailhead all the groups met and happily entered the forest, which is always preferable to logging roads. Before too long we had hiked up to the lookout, conveniently located after a short uphill stretch, for lunch, group selfies, and a little bit of mid-hike mingling. With happy and full bellies we continued on and soon reached the first stretch of clear cut. Over and across trees, around hints of our bear friends, past wiggling tent caterpillars we hiked. Along the side of the mountain it was incredible to glimpse the giant landslide from all angles! With the trail sometimes heading up and sometimes heading down we remained at generally the same elevation up above the river, until winding up at another logging road. Happy to be heading exclusively down, on a road with easy footing, we trekked along the last stretch of the hike. We sped down the road with excitement for a relaxing evening of nude spring soaking! Arriving at the signs signalling the abandoned springs, we were filled with eerie amazement at this hidden spot that didn’t feel hidden at all as we passed picnic tables, old trash cans, and the lasting out house!
After a much earned rest and tent set-up everyone eagerly dipped their toes and maybe torsos into the hot hot spring. Eek, it was (not too surprisingly) very hot! After some exploration and waiting for all the pools to fill everyone found themselves much more comfortable in a more mild temperatured pool. We all settled in for a nice long soak, some sips of port, sangria and beer, and lovely hot spring chit chat. However tired some of us may have been on the hike in, we were all quite pleased with this beautiful spot and friendly company. We dragged ourselves out of the spring for dinners/feasts/found potatoes/delicious chocolate desserts and soon after slipped back into the pool for more night time soaking. The night was filled with floating candles, nudity, swigs of port, guitar serenades, snake attacks, cold river dunks, and hot spring bouldering attempts! Pretty damn great.
With a lazy morning and breakfasts accompanied by leftover desserts it was time to hike out. Three of us headed off to get a head start on our old friend the logging road…but bear scat, beetles and mossy trees lead to slight distraction. Soon (or not so soon) we began to realize we had entered a maze of logging roads that was not meant for us! An angry grouse and her in-the-way baby shrieked and flapped at us as we passed their territory. If only we spoke grouse we would have known they were also telling us “wrong way!” (also get your big boots away from my fuzzy baby). Without too much ridiculousness we figured out our mistake and headed up and up the correct road only slightly late. Fingers crossed the rest of the group hadn’t made it too far ahead thinking we were even farther ahead! Alas, that is exactly what had happened.
(Meanwhile the rest of the group had met up, realized we were indeed not ahead of them, and began making plans for our rescue, involving logging road search parties and rushing to Pemberton to call search and rescue, and probably snacks and sing alongs- I’m not sure, I wasn’t there).
Still, we had a happy trek back along the trail, happy as ever to be off the logging roads and back with our moss friends that were bright and green and bushy in the sprinkling rain that accompanied us. We revelled in what wonderful weather we had up until the rain, and still happily hiked in the rain like good pacific northwesterners! As we worried about how late we were, right on cue we heard voices! Some of the guys had run back to check we were alright, but we were reassured we couldn’t have been too far behind the rest of the group when they told us they’d only been running back for 20 minutes. We should have remembered that they’re speedy cheetahs, and little did we know they had run back from the trailhead! Eventually we arrived at the end of the trail, prepared for our last leg of our now old friend, the logging road. But, hooray! Ian was there to speed us down the mountain in his deluxe home/truck! Happily returned to our vehicles, we were greeted by everyone sitting and having a sing-a-long, all good natured at the ridiculousness of how long they must have all been waiting. What a wonderful group! We all headed back to Pemberton (to fill our bellies with burgers instead of call search and rescue!), with only one more hiccup along the way to change a flat tire. Cheers to a beautiful weekend and the great company!